After School – Dream Girl

Dream Girl is After School’s 2nd digital single and it was released on May 22, 2009.

Tracklisting

1. Dream Girl
2. Dream Girl (Inst.)

A Morning Musume cover? Who knew the day would come. Dream Girl is a fresh cover of Momosu’s biggest hit LOVE Machine and is a great tribute to the original. Not only does it feature a more K-Pop sound with a new more electronic and modern instrumental, but it also has After School’s charisma in form of their vocals and rapping. It’s an enjoyable song to listen to, but really for how different it is to the original. However, the song is a little too dated and not necessarily After School’s style.

Overall Rating

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f(x) – Chu~♡

Chu~♡ is f(x)’s debut single and it was released on November 4, 2009.

Tracklisting

1. Chu~♡
2. Step by me
3. You are my destiny f(Luna+Krystal)

f(x) seems to maintain that bizarre, retro style of pop from their first digital single with Chu~♡. Unlike the name gives off, the song isn’t really cutesy at all, instead it’s a synth heavy pop song(did I mention it has a lot of synth) with a crazy catchy hook. I didn’t expect to like this song too much since the instrumental is so basic and, in some parts, really absent but you can’t deny how addicting this song is.

I suppose K-Pop singles work like Hello! Project ones do; awesome title track and horrid “other” stuff. Fortunately, Step by me doesn’t fall into this category. It’s another pop track but this time uses less synth and instead has more acoustic instruments accompanied by a cute melody and a chorus which features counting. I actually like this song since it’s a nice contrast to what the title track was.

And then You are my destiny comes to ruin everything. It’s a ballad. I think saying that is enough. Even though it features the groups strongest vocalists Luna and Krystal, that alone doesn’t convince me to like this song since it is soooo boring. I think the problem with these Korean ballads is that they have such generic, boring instrumentals.

For their first single, f(x) has done a solid job. Vocally they are great(minus Amber, but she’s a rapper so…) and the only flaw here is that horrific ballad they’ve been given, even if they do nail it vocally. Hopefully they’ll stick to more upbeat songs in the future.

Overall Rating

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[…V•O•T•E…] Week XXXVII

Week of 2/14 – 2/21 (21 votes)

Just the other day I found out that Namie Amuro is a Virgo. I’m also a Virgo, so that cleared up all the questions I had regarding her cold and frigid personality. Bad Valentine’s would be bad.

Who’s your J-Pop Valentine?

  1. Sex with Koda Kumi! – 5 votes
  2. Momosu member. Gotta make sure the other 7 don’t get jealous. / Random Johnny’s member. spazzzzz – 4 votes each
  3. 1 from AKB48. Less popular = cheaper gifts. / MARRY ME MIYABI! – 3 votes each
  4. A Perfume chick. Vocoder+chocolate = CHOCOLATE DISCO BLISS <3 – 2 votes

You dirty dirty people. I can’t imagine sex with Kumi can be that fun, could it? I personally prefer Utada, more cushion for the pushin’. ;D

AND YAY FOR THOSE SLUTS FROM JOHNNY’S FINALLY NOT BEATING MOMOSU IN SOMETHING!

I blame Perfume losing for being so dead recently. Nakata has been kinda lazy lately too.

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Morning Daughters: K-Pop’s Newest Group!

No, this isn’t a rant about their most recent single and how overall horrible it was(36k first week sales? Really? Either Koha fans converted to AKB48ism or Tsunku is just boring now-a-days). Instead I’m going to single-handedly convert Japan’s best-selling all female group into one of the plenty K-Pop girl groups!

STEP 1: REACHING PERFECTION

Let’s face it. H!P groups when compared to SNSD, Brown Eyed Girls, 2NE1 and Kara have a lot of “imperfect members”. What I mean by that are members that don’t excel in anything in particular and/or just suck really bad at something. It’s safe to say that each member in SNSD is at least a solid singer, unlike H!P members like Sayumi or Aika.

Thus… Michishige Sayumi, Mitsui Aika and Junjun are out! (I’m an Aika and Junjun fan so I’m not just trolling. I can admit that they are the three less talented members in Momosu.)

STEP 2: ASSIGNING ROLES

Like EVERY single K-Pop group out there(except 2PM ’cause their drama queenz), each member has to have their own role in the group. For example, CL being 2NE1’s leader+rapper, Bom being the main vocalist, etc…

Most K-Groups place the oldest member as the leader, but I think that’s a horrible formula to follow as the oldest member of the group isn’t usually the most fir for the leader position. That’s why Ai wouldn’t be leader in this case. Instead…

Takahashi Ai: Main Vocals

Niigaki Risa: Sub Vocals, Main Dancer

Kamei Eri: Sub Vocals, Lead Dancer

Tanaka Reina: Leader, Main Vocals

Linlin: Lead Vocals

Okay, so I did this basing it on their current positions in the group. I placed Reina as leader(no matter how much I hate her) since she seems the most legible to introducing the group/doing interviews/other leader stuff. Definitely more than Ai, anyway.

As for the difference between lead and main(that I’m aware of), for dancers, is that the main dancer is usually in the center of the choreography, while the lead dancer(also near the middle) usually get’s her own solo dance breaks(think SNSD’s Hyoyeon in Genie). I’ve never seen Risa do a dance solo before, but I’ve seen Eri do it twice.

Reina and Ai are lead vocals because they get the most solos. Linlin is lead because she’ll like almost always be singing in the background and get like her one “big” solo in the song(okay so I kinda made that up since we all know Linlin never sings).

STEP 3: THE LOOK

In K-Pop, its sexy or GTFO. None of that cute crap(unless your SNSD, even though their cute image is just a more playful twist on the sexy one for me). Thus, I chose the most mature, sorta sexy thing they’ve done recently.

NO, NOT KIMAGURE PRINCESS.

Instead, I chose Resonant Blue!!!

That line-up is just so… UGH *-* NO… NO! I can’t forget that Reina is there! D:

STEP 4: THE DEBUT

AFTER 5 YEARS IN TRAINING, DUH!(maybe that’s why H!P girls during their debuts usually suck. They don’t even train for half of the time K-Pop members do…).

So after having their respective surgeries and all, they need to release a catchy debut track! Now I’ll go ahead and choose something recent from their careers but that also has(even a tiny bit) a K-Pop flair.

I choose… Take off is now!

Reasons?

  1. It’s the fiercest thing they have(after SONGS) in the recent years that could just slightly pass as K-Pop
  2. Closest thing to being under four minutes long
  3. Admit it, imagine this lineup performing this live. Fierce right?
  4. Lots of room for KAMEI ERI DANCE SOLOS! (not like that 5 second crappy solo she has during the TOP performance on the Resonant LIVE tour)

STEP 5: THE RESULT


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Guardians 4 – School Days

School Days is Guardians 4’s 2nd single and it was released on September 2nd, 2009. It reached #8 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and has sold 11,673 copies.

Tracklisting

1. School Days
2. School Days (Shugo Chara Egg! Version)
3. Itsuka Dokoka de.
4. School Days (Instrumental)
5. Itsuka Dokoka de. (Instrumental)

More anime music! There isn’t too much I can say about School Days that isn’t explained when I say it’s “another anime song”. Cute and peppy synth, high-pitched vocals(minus from Yurina, duh) and sparkles+bells. I prefer their debut song over this one as it isn’t as obnoxious and loud.

Itsuka Dokoka de.‘s opening synth really draw you in and it works out as the song is SLIGHTLY better than the a-side in that it isn’t as generic and loud but instead has more appealing and heavy synth lines along with a more lovely melody. Their vocals are average at best and nothing out of the typical.

I guess you could say that the group’s anime sound is starting to bore me. Both songs were nice but the a-side was just a bit too obnoxious in that its “happy” sound worked against it. The b-side is a step in the right direction however.

Overall Rating

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Buono! – We are Buono!

We are Buono! is Buono!’s 3rd album and it was released on February 10, 2010. It reached #11 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and has sold 13,496 copies.

Tracklisting

1. One Way = My Way
2. Our Songs♠♠
3. Independent Girl ~ Dokuritsu Joshi de Aru Tame ni
4. MY BOY
5. Urahara♠♠♠♠♠
6. Take It Easy!
7. Bravo☆Bravo♠♠♠
8. Kataomoi.
9. Blue-Sky-Blue
10. Koucha no Oishii Mise
11. Tabidachi no Uta♠♠♠♠
12. We are Buono! ~ Buono! no Theme

Ever since the release of Café Buono! around two years ago, it’s quite clear that the Buono! from before is in no way similar to the Buono! we have today. What used to be an anime-sounding, cute pop group with a rock flair has turned into a more serious, all out rock trio with some of H!P’s strongest vocalists. Thus they are in no doubt the best group in the company by far in terms of both consistency and quality.

One thing I’ve noticed about Buono! albums, unlike other H!P albums(Platinum 9 DISC comes to mind) is that Tsunku puts some thought into the structure and ordering of the tracks. Instead of seeing jumps from super catchy pop to a full-blown string ballad, everything flows nicely; the albums begin with the upbeat tracks, smoothly changes to the calmer songs then bumps up again into more mid-tempo songs before slowing down again and finally ending it with the explosive We are Buono! ~ Buono! no Theme, which is something I’ve been anticipating for a long time now and certainly doesn’t disappoint with all the personality and energy it has.

I honestly can’t say I dislike any track from this album, which is a huge surprise even to me. If anything, One Way = My Way would be least favorite since it gives me an Early Bird(from Buono! 2) vibe in that it’s a little too loud for me but is leagues better than mentioned track.

The singles of this era were perfect for me and balanced each other out well. The most aggressive track of the album, MY BOY is joined by Independent Girl ~ Dokuritsu Joshi de Aru Tame ni, a song that doesn’t fall short in energy but is laid out more neatly and isn’t as chaotic, while Bravo☆Bravo and Our Songs are joined by Kataomoi., also a mid-tempo track although it has an explosive chorus.

However what I most enjoy this album, even over the singles, are the slower, laid-back tracks in the album. They really were the reason why this album is so perfect for me. Urahara would be my favorite by far since it has that relaxing sound to it but just surprises you when the chorus arrives. Tabidachi no Uta, the longest in the album at 6:16, is the perfect farewell for the album as it possess those “epic ballad” qualities and is just simply beautiful.

We are Buono! is BY FAR the best H!P album I’ve listened to in the past two years. Perfect structure, well balanced singles, even better album tracks, always improving vocals and Tsunku’s genius composing. I never thought I would like an H!P album as much as I do this one since I never do expect much from H!P when it isn’t a single. Surprisingly, the new tracks beat the singles in quality and each has its own unique quality. Now if you’re a fan of the “old” Buono!, than I’m sure you won’t like this album near as much, but for the current sound that Buono! has, this is perfection in the form of an album and blows away their previous, “mid-transition” album.

Overall Rating

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[…V•O•T•E…] Week XXXVI

Week of 2/7 – 2/14 (22 votes)

I really do believe there is at LEAST one lesbian out of the plenty H!P members we have today. I won’t even imagine how many gays are in Johnny’s. So who do you think is the most likely to be the H!P lesbian? o:

Who’s most likely to be the H!P lesbian?

  1. Shimizu Saki. Captain plays for both teams. ;D – 7 votes
  2. Okai Chisato. She gives off that boyish presence that all the girls crave. – 6 votes
  3. Mitsui Aika, she’s just kinda weird and secretive. / Yajima Maimi. She seems pretty butch and masculine. – 4 votes each
  4. Sudo Maasa with her strong body and loud, manly grunts. – 1 vote

Whuuuuuut. I totally wasn’t expecting Captain to win, or for Maasa to get only one vote. Maybe Maasa is just masculine but we can’t picture her as being with another girl.

It was close for first place but in the end Saki reigned as the supreme lesbian. Imo, she’s just ugly at times and not really lesbian material at all. Chisato on the other hand is much more fit for the role. I imagine her and Hagiwara Mai must have something going on. ;3 <3

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